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How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

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At a glance, it might seem like TikTok is simply a platform for comedy sketches and dancing moms, but the business opportunities on TikTok are juicy.

After all, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users. It’s the place to see and be seen, which means ample opportunity for brands to engage with audiences in a whole new way. And with the launch of TikTok Shopping, the commercial potential here only continues to grow.

Follow the lead of the big brands who are already optimizing the potential of TikTok, and tap into trending topics and hashtag challenges, experiment with TikTok live streams, or play around with editing tools and trending sounds to create high-energy short-form videos that represent your business.

It can feel overwhelming, though, especially if you’re new to the platform. So consider this your one-stop shop for all you need to know to get your TikTok Business Account up and running.

Read on to learn how to use TikTok for business — from setting up an account from scratch to measuring your success.

How to use TikTok for business

Step 1: Get a TikTok Business Account

If you’ve already got a personal TikTok account, it’s easy to switch over to a Business Account: just skip right to step 4.

  1. Download and open the TikTok app.
  2. Create a new personal account. You can use your email, or log in with your Google, Twitter or Facebook account.
  3. Tap Me in the lower right corner, then tap Edit Profile. Here, you can add a profile picture and bio, plus links to other social accounts.
  4. To switch to a Business Account, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, then Manage Account.

Manage Account on TikTok

  1. Tap Switch To Pro Account and choose between Business or Creator.
  2. Now, pick the category that best describes your brand and tap Next.

choose a category that best describes account

    1. Add a website and email address to your profile.

welcome to your TikTok business account

And that’s it! Congrats on your new TikTok Business Account!

Step 2: Create a winning TikTok strategy

Even if you’re a whiz at Instagram or Facebook marketing, it’s important to remember that TikTok is its own beautiful, chaotic beast that requires a specific game plan. And building that game plan starts with gathering information.

Get to know TikTok

Before you build a TikTok strategy, you need to get to know the platform inside and out. Get familiar with TikTok: spend time browsing through the videos on the For You page. Play around with the editing features, filters, and effects. Spend a few hours losing yourself in the infinite variations of whatever the latest dance craze is.

@kallmewhateveryouwant

You’re welcome babes💅🏻 IB: @gibz_

♬ Believe Me – Navos

Understand the TikTok algorithm

The TikTok algorithm is constantly evolving, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Read up on how TikTok ranks and distributes videos, and just what trending videos have in common.

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Learn about the key players

At this point, TikTok stars have parlayed their fame into not just lucrative sponsorships but also reality shows, movie roles, and business ventures. These are the characters around which the TikTok world revolves, but your industry or niche likely has its own power players. Keep your eye on those rising stars.

@charlidamelio

dc @chuckygonwild

♬ somebodys watching me – 🍒

Identify your target audience

Before you dive into making your first video, know your audience. While TikTok is extremely popular with teenagers and Gen Z, a wide range of demographics have fallen in love with the app.

use of online platforms, apps varies by demographic group

Source: Pew Research Center

Where does your target market overlap with TikTok users? Or is there a new or unexpected audience to reach here? Once you’ve got a good grasp on who you’re talking to, the content planning can begin.

Scope out your competitors

Is your business nemesis already on TikTok? Watch what they’re doing to get a sneak peek of what’s working and what’s not with your shared audiences.

TikTok influencers or creators may fall into the category of “competition” here on the app, too, so don’t rule them out as sources of inspiration or information, either.

Set goals and objectives

Once you’ve compiled all this intel, it’s time to set some goals. Your TikTok strategy should establish what you hope to achieve on the platform.

A good place to start is with your business objectives: how can TikTok help you accomplish them? Try applying the SMART framework to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Plan out a content calendar

There’s certainly something special about a spur-of-the-moment, when inspiration strikes post, but plotting out content in advance is typically a good idea for a busy social media manager.

A social media content calendar ensures you don’t miss important dates and allows you enough time for creative production. Look for opportunities to capitalize on holidays or events or develop themes or series that can guide your creativity.

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Ideally, your posts will go up when your TikTok audience is online and hungry for new video content. Check out our primer on the best time to post on TikTok here.

Step 3: Optimize your TikTok profile

You’ve only got a few lines and one opportunity to share a link, but your TikTok profile is basically your digital storefront, so do it up right.

Be particular about your profile photo

Make sure your profile photo looks good and represents your brand. Ideally, it should connect your TikTok account visually to your other digital platforms, using the same logo or colors to make it clear this is part of the same family as your website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Burger King TikTok account

Keep your bio short and sweet

With only 80 characters to work with, your TikTok bio needs to cut to the chase and include a CTA. Use an emoji if it’s appropriate for your brand voice: it can add personality and save on the character count. Win-win.

Pick your URL wisely

Should it direct to your ecommerce site, a specific landing page, your other social accounts, or a current blog post? That all depends on your strategic goals.

Step 4: Create content that people will want to watch

There’s no secret recipe for making a successful TikTok video, but there are some good rules of thumb to follow.

Make sure your video looks good

It may seem obvious, but the better your sound and video quality, the more enjoyable your content will be to watch. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in pricey equipment, but be conscious about filming in well-lit spaces where the audio is going to be clean. If clean audio is impossible, add a trending track to your video instead of the original sound.

@sebpic_

Who loves to visit Canada?

♬ stereo hearts – Gym Class Heroes

Use hashtags

TikTok hashtags will help your content get discovered via search and help the TikTok algorithm identify what kind of topics you’re covering.

Learn more about the best hashtags to use to grow your reach and view counts here.

How-to videos and tutorials are always popular

Whether it’s a fitness video or a cooking demo, audiences tend to like a little bit of education in their feed. Show off your expertise or reveal some behind-the-scenes intel to keep them watching.

@nutrientmatters

That dipping sauce + these potato’s 🤤

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Team up with other creators

Try out the Duets feature to engage with other videos, or commission an influencer for a partnership.

@iamauroramusic

#duet with @jason_on_comms

♬ Nuestra Canción (feat. Vicente García) – Monsieur Periné

Dive deeper into our guide to getting more TikTok views here and explore ideas for creative, engaging TikTok videos here.

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Step 5: Engage your audience and grow your following

First off: Don’t buy followers! We tried, and it’s a very bad idea! Stop it! Put that credit card down.

Ultimately, creating great content (see above!) is the #1 way to get those sweet, sweet views and follows. To keep those followers interested and engaged once they’re on board, the same rules of thumb apply as to any other social media platform:

      • Try out interactive live streams.
      • Experiment with polls and questions.
      • Respond to comments and questions.
      • Comment and like content on other TikTok accounts.
      • Practice social listening to make sure you’re on top of trending topics in your TikTok community.

That’s just a few baseline tips; find more on how to get TikTok followers and how to increase social media engagement here.

Step 6: Dig into analytics

Once you’ve been playing around with TikTok for a while, it’s important to look objectively at how things are going. How are your reach and engagement metrics? Are those tutorial videos actually hitting? Who is actually watching and following your content?

Analytics take the guesswork out of content strategy: they prove what’s working — and what’s not. TikTok’s in-platform analytics tool can show you some really interesting metrics to help inform your next steps.

TikTok analytics overview

Learn more about TikTok analytics.

Step 7: Explore TikTok’s advertising options

Advertising isn’t a fit for everyone’s social strategy, but if paid reach is something you’re interested in, check out our guide to TikTok ads here.

One key takeaway? Almost half (43%) of TikTok users are aged 18 to 24. Women in that age category make up nearly a quarter (24.7%) of TikTok’s advertising audience. So if you’re marketing to younger adults, especially women, advertising on TikTok is a natural fit.

profile of TikTok's advertising audience

Source: Hootsuite

Okay, there you have it: TikTok for Business 101! Get your account up and running and start exploring all the opportunities this wild and wonderful platform has to offer, and explore the rest of our expert TikTok guides to deepen your knowledge even further.

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Shorter Videos Are In Demand. Here’s How Different Social Media Platforms Are Reacting.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With TikTok and Instagram Reels slowly conquering social media marketing, there’s no mistake: Short videos are in demand.

The average length for most, if not all, business videos is only six minutes long. And that number is set to decrease as consumers look for shorter videos.

With that in mind, why are short videos in demand? What platforms are implementing short-form videos the best? And most importantly, how can they benefit your business?

TikTok – Changing consumerism, one video at a time

Where shorter videos are concerned, TikTok has always led the industry. What started as a merger with Musical.ly quickly became one of the world’s most powerful social media platforms. And what made it so famous? The same concept that made Vine viral short videos.

TikTok has over 1 billion active users, twice as many as Snapchat and Pinterest. For reference, Twitter only has 397 million users. With such a massive user-base, the only thing keeping the platform alive are the 15-second-long videos.

But why are short videos so popular? Simple – people don’t have time on their hands. When they open apps like TikTok and Instagram, they’re more likely to spend time watching shorter videos.  And businesses are already catching up.

The impact of Instagram Reels

With the invention of Stories by Snapchat, other platforms like Instagram caught up on short videos. Instagram Reels presents adults and young users with a more straightforward way to tell others about their day. It employs quick photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours instead of being permanently posted. Now engagement is encouraged, especially after Instagram included the “Swipe” option. This has allowed e-commerce sites to both advertise their products and make instant messaging easier.

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Youtube has joined the bandwagon

While YouTube is more or less a platform for long-form videos, its recent update offers shorter vertical videos. Known as YouTube Shorts, the feature allows creators to engage with their audience in under 60 seconds.

But YouTube has another trick up its sleeve, and this one is mainly towards advertisers. It is “YouTube TrueView” and is the primary advertising technology for YouTube. Through this, advertisers can promote long or short videos, with some being skippable after five seconds.

However, since most people are unlikely to click on longer ads, YouTube now offers 6-second non-skippable ads. The clickthrough rate for shorter 15 and 30-second ads is around 70%, a whopping number for any business.

It’s time to say goodbye to IGTV

With Instagram’s IGTV coming off as less captivating than its Reels and video posts, it has decided to remove IGTV. Instead, it has a separate section for videos. These videos will appear on a person’s profile and can be viewed from the Instagram app.

The change they made here is that videos posted to the Instagram feed can be up to 60 minutes long. The exact reason for doing this is not confirmed. But it seems like Instagram wants a seamless platform where short and long videos co-exist.

This makes long videos more accessible to users using the Instagram app. And it helps promote video tutorials that people typically do not consume on social media apps.

Another significant change is that Instagram videos that are longer can be monetized, a feature not available on Reels. This significantly shifts the focus towards creators who don’t sell a service and want to gain cash through Instagram.

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Does this mean long-form videos are out of the picture?

With short-form videos becoming more popular among consumers, will long-form videos die out? While it’s highly recommended for any business to create videos as short as possible, the answer isn’t that black and white.

While short-form videos will drive traffic from new users, long-form videos are better for brand loyalty. Shorter videos will get more engagement and show up on new users’ feeds. But longer videos will be the backbone of your business.

Of course, that depends on what service you’re offering. Ecommerce companies will want to direct their attention towards short-form videos and ads. However, long-form videos are better suited for when you want to go in-depth about product details. That is, of course, only after you’ve grabbed the user’s attention with a short-form video.

Companies that offer webinars will benefit from longer videos. And so will companies that post interviews. However, promos and how-to videos should remain under a minute or two, depending on how long the tutorial needs to be.

Essentially, ask yourself two questions:

  • First, can the video content be summarized in a short-form video?
  • Do you want to merely catch the attention of the consumer or develop brand loyalty?

The correct formula is neither short nor long, but a mix of both.

What this all means for an entrepreneur

Short-form videos hold substantial market value, especially for new businesses. Take the example of the Dollar Shave Club. What started as a viral video on YouTube grew to become a behemoth of a brand.

And that’s not where the examples end. There are countless success stories like this one that prove the value of short videos.

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Short videos have a higher clickthrough rate, and for entrepreneurs, that’s all you need. Short videos are of particular interest to people with ecommerce businesses. For example, 84% of people say they are more compelled to buy a product by watching a video. And the statistics keep on showing a friendlier short-video market.

There is no doubt that short-form videos are gradually creeping up the graph. And while long-form videos are great for information and brand loyalty, shorter videos are better for PR.

This begs one last question: Are videos beneficial for you? The answer is – yes!

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TIKTOK

How to Make a TikTok Video: Beginners Start Here

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Let’s face it, TikTok is the moment.

And with 1 billion monthly active users, it’s time to join the action and get your brand out there to a wider audience!

Want to learn how to make a TikTok Video but don’t know where to start? Don’t sweat it! We broke down all the steps and tools you’ll need to make a viral-worthy first video and make sure your debut is anything but cringe.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to prioritize and plan your social strategy in 2022.

How to create a TikTok account

First things first, you’ll need to create a TikTok account.

There are different ways to sign up for one: you can use your phone number, email address or social media account. Here’s how to do it using your phone number.

1. Download TikTok from Google Play or the App Store.

2. Open the TikTok App on your iPhone or Android.

3. Click the “Me” or “Profile” icon at the bottom-right of your screen.

profile icon on TikTok

4. Choose a method to sign up (we’re choosing “use phone or email”)

sign up for TikTok using phone or email

5. Enter your birth date and phone number (make sure this is accurate because it’s how you’ll retrieve passwords and confirm your account).

enter birthday when signing up on TikTok

6. Enter the 6-digit code sent to that phone number (see, told ya!)

7. You did it! Celebrate by scrolling TikTok for too many hours.

How to make a TikTok video

Here’s how to get started on your very first TikTok video. Luckily for you, it’s way easier than learning this TikTok Shuffle dance.

1. Hit the + sign at the bottom of your screen.

2. You can upload photos and videos from your phone’s library or make a video directly using the TikTok camera.

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3. If recording directly, hit the Record button at the bottom of the screen. Hit it again when you’re done recording. The default video mode is “Quick” which is for 15 second videos but you can switch it to “Camera” for more editing options and longer videos (15s, 60s and 3 mins), or “Templates” to create a specific style of video.

record button on the bottom of TikTok screen

4. Tap the check mark when you’re done shooting all your footage.

tap checkmark after shooting footage

5. Make any edits or changes on the post page. All your edits are on the right sidebar of the screen. Also, add music or sounds by hitting “Add sound” at the top of the screen.

add sound on TikTok

6. Post that video and share it everywhere! Make sure to include a description with some hashtags so it finds its way to your audience.

post video on TikTok with description

How to make a TikTok with multiple videos

Instead of taking one long video, why not capture shorter videos and edit them together to make your TikTok video? Here’s how to do that (and you don’t need a film degree).

1. Hit that “+” sign to start your video

2. You can either shoot multiple videos directly by hitting that record button after each clip, building up your video with different shots. Or, you can hit the “Upload” button next to the record button and add multiple videos and photos you have stored on your phone.

3. Select all your media and tap Next.

4. You can now sync sound across your videos and make adjustments (or try “Auto sync” which will do the syncing up for you.)

sync sound on TikTok

automatically sync clips

5. Hit Next when done. You’ll be brought to a preview screen where you can further add sounds, more effects, text, and stickers.

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hit next and add suggested sounds

6. Tap Next when you’re done editing your video and proceed to the Post screen.

7. Remember to throw in a description and some hashtags and bingo-bango-bongo you’re the Steven Spielberg of TikTok!

5 things to know before creating your first TikTok

TikTok style is less polished than other types of video

Don’t worry about being too precious with your videos. On TikTok, videos are meant to be candid, and natural—and they should show off your personality. Things like perfect edits, smooth transitions or flawless lighting shouldn’t get in the way of your idea and your own charisma.

Sure, there are lots of editing options, effects and filters to choose from (what the heck is the difference between B3 and G4 filters anyways?) but the real star is you —or, at least all 6 of these friends belting out Lady Gaga for the #caughtinabadromance challenge at this bachelorette. If that’s not candid, I don’t know what is.

@ariellehartford

That finger stole the show! 😂😂😂 #bachelorettetrip #gatlinburg #caughtinabadromamce

♬ original sound – Arielle Hartford

You don’t have to dance

Good news! You don’t have to spend 2 hours trying to perfect the LaLisa dance tutorial to make sure your video stands out (unless you want to, then no judgment over here!).

There are so many different ways to engage your followers that don’t involve you popping and locking in your living room in front of a ring light (but again, no judgement if you do, except maybe from your pet and their adorable judging eyes).

You also don’t have to attempt whatever this is.

@sdavidrodriguez

♬ Grab Da Wall & Rock Da Boat – 504 Boyz & Weebie

Hashtags can help more people see your post

It’s no secret a good hashtag can go a long way on TikTok. Strategic use of hashtags will help people find your videos who don’t already follow you, and maybe even see it on their For You Page (FYP).

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Find the best hashtags to grow your views and help get your content recognized by the algorithm. You worked so hard on it, might as well show it off to as many people as possible.

The right song can go a long way

Attaching a trending song to your video or audio from a popular TikTok video can help it get seen by more people. This app has a big music following (lots of new songs are intentionally promoted through the app to help them climb the music charts) so lassoing your video to one of these shooting stars is only going to help you get on more FYP and in front of new audiences.

@suzyjonesmusic

♬ original sound – Suzy Jones

Your greatest asset is you

Don’t overthink it, just come up with a simple idea and let your personality shine through. The sense of intimacy and community that TikTok brings is why people love this app—it feels personal.

Even if you’re doing a TikTok challenge or trend that’s popular, the thing that will make you stand out is your unique take on it. It’s not about gimmicks but about putting your best self out there. Nothing should feel too staged or self-aware (that’s cringe territory). Pretend your audience are your good friends and approach it with that energy!

@janikon_No, I can’t re-record this, I’m laughing too hard #fyp♬ original sound – Stu (he/him)

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TIKTOK

Warner Music reports accelerating streaming revenue from TikTok, Facebook & Peloton in …

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Warner Music Group has announced its fiscal fourth quarter and full-year financial results for the period to September 30, 2021.

The major reported continued momentum across established and emerging streaming platforms, while artist services and physical revenue bounced back after the impact of Covid last year.

For the fiscal year, recorded music streaming revenue increased 24% year-on-year to $2.403 billion. In the fourth quarter, streaming revenue was up 22% to $639 million.

Total revenue increased 18.8% (15.4% in constant currency) to $5.3bn for the financial year. It was driven by strong digital revenue growth of 21.9% (19.1% in constant currency) across recorded music and publishing. Digital revenue represented 66.8% of total revenue, compared to 65.0% in the prior year.

“Music is essential to billions of people across the globe,” said Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group. “But now, more than ever, great talent needs help to cut through the noise. By delivering for new artists and songwriters, returning superstars, and global legends, we’ve also delivered outstanding results in 2021.

“Looking to 2022, we’re excited to release incredible new music from the world’s hottest artists and most influential songwriters. We’re also planning innovative moves and collaborations that will strengthen our leadership position across a vast universe of opportunities, in both the digital and physical worlds.”

For the 12-month period, recorded music revenue increased 19.3% (15.9% in constant currency) to $4.54bn. Digital revenue grew 20.9% (18.2% in constant currency) to $3.54bn due to the strong performance of new and prior year releases, as well as accelerated revenue growth from emerging streaming platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Peloton.

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Major sellers included Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Ava Max, Cardi B and the Hamilton original cast recording. Sheeran performed a livestream for TikTok to launch his = campaign.

We’re planning innovative moves and collaborations that will strengthen our leadership position

Steve Cooper

During 2020-21, recorded music physical revenue increased 26.5% (22.3% in constant currency) to $549m thanks to vinyl sales. Over the same period, artist services and expanded-rights revenue increased 14.1% (8.7% in constant currency) reflecting an increase in merchandising revenue, partially offset by the impact of Covid disruption on touring and live events.

Music publishing revenue increased 15.8% (12.6% in constant currency) to $761m for the 12 months compared to the prior year. The revenue increase was driven by growth in digital, sync and mechanical revenue, partially offset by a decline in performance revenue.

Operating income was $609m, compared to an operating loss of $229m in the prior year.

“Our strong fourth-quarter results put an exclamation point on an outstanding year,” said Lou Dickler, acting CFO, Warner Music Group. “Even as certain revenue was impacted by Covid, the strength and resilience of our music propelled us to double-digit revenue growth and margin expansion in 2021. As the possibilities for music continue to evolve, we remain focused on delivering shareholder value through our financially disciplined investment strategy and positioning ourselves for the next wave of growth.”

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